Kopeikin Gallery is pleased to present Presence, our fourth exhibition with Alejandro Cartagena. Cartagena is based in Mexico City and works primarily in photography. Cartagena (b. 1977, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) lives and works in Monterrey, Mexico. His projects employ landscape and portraiture as a means to examine social, urban and environmental issues. The exhibition opens on January 12, 2019 with an opening reception with the artist from 6 – 8PM. The show will be on view through March 9, 2019.
For his newest body of work, Cartagena has been collecting vernacular in and around Mexico City for the past two years. Fascinated with how images are constructed both as an aesthetic object and as a container of narratives and meanings, the artist has created his own archive. The series is read as a commentary on the current socio-political status of Latin America.
Cartagena explains his process and conceptual approach; “Through a meticulous and potentially failure-prone process, I am stripping these physical images from their direct representations by removing figures to create unique cutout silver gelatin prints. The result is a photographic structure that emerges from within the image and speaks to how we build what we see in most photographs. The photographic medium has used format, material, aesthetic and lighting structures to create a standard version of ourselves. Everything feels the same and what is left is a cultural construct of how we have built our identities through images. These new representations also connotate larger issues in my Latin America, where we have become ‘no one’ in the midst of our social and political crisis. In the end, it seems anyone can disappear, and no one will ever give us answers.”
Cartagena’s work has been exhibited internationally in more than 50 group and individual exhibitions in spaces including the the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris and the CCCB in Barcelona. His work is in many important private collections and in the collections of several museums including the San Francisco MOMA, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Portland Museum of Art, The West Collection, the Coppel collection, the FEMSA collection, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the George Eastman House and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, among many others. Awards include the international Photolucida Critical Mass Book Award, the Street Photography Award in London Photo Festival, the Lente Latino Award in Chile, the Premio IILA-FotoGrafia Award in Rome and the Salon de la Fotografia of Fototeca de Nuevo Leon in Mexico among others. His work has been published internationally in magazines and newspapers such as Newsweek, Nowness, Domus, the Financial Times, The New York Times, Le Monde, Stern, PDN, The New Yorker, and Wallpaper among others.